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Utility Furniture

Volume 387: debated on Tuesday 23 March 1943

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asked the President of the Board of Trade what steps he proposes to remedy the shortage of utility furniture in Nuneaton and district, particulars of which have been supplied to him by the honourable Member for Nuneaton?

If my hon. Friend will send me particulars of any cases where holders of buying permits in Nuneaton and district have been unable to obtain utility furniture, I shall be pleased to look into them.

In view of what I think is the general belief that people will expect to see utility furniture in shop windows, will my right hon. Friend tell the House and the country what steps people should take who have been blitzed or who have got married to obtain this furniture?

Steps will be taken in the latter case before marriage has been regularised. It is only necessary for people falling within any of the classes of those who are entitled to utility furniture to obtain buying permits, which they do through the Assistance Board. These people order from a shop the articles of furniture they prefer on the list with which they are supplied. We do not want to immobilise large supplies of furniture for window displays, but to get it as quickly as possible in the possession of those people who are entitled to it. A number of exhibitions have been held in different parts of the country.

Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that there is a general feeling of damping down supplies and not to make utility furniture known to the general public, and will he take steps, apart from displays of furniture in shop windows, to see that those who need a supply know the machinery for getting it?

I am anxious that it should be made widely known. It is not at all my wish to damp it down. Production is going well, and I am anxious that it should be taken up. In Glasgow there has been an exhibition, which was opened by my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Scotland.

Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that it had only a very limited appeal, and will he take steps to see that there are other channels through which supplies are made available?

I should be glad to do anything on those lines if my hon. Friend would make some suggestions.